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The Diversities Of Panamanian Culture

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The Panamanian culture is full of diversities. It is a blend of varied cultures whether it is the native Indian people or the colonial era settlements or even current times of multi-race communities. The Spanish ruled Panama for about 300 years and this had to contribute to the European artistic, literary and musical influence on the Panamanian in the Panama Canal region whatsoever. Thus it is evidently loud that Panamanian culture is nothing but an extension of cultural synthesis.

Panama customs are well reflected in the ways of life of the Panamanians, their music, their dance, their festivities, their literature and even in their cuisine.

Truth be told, the co-existence of the many influences in Panamanian culture is strongly evident in how the people of Panama lead their lives. People inhabiting the urban areas, particularly the Panama Canal area (where the US army was based in the days when the construction work of the Canal was under progress), lead refined, sophisticated lives. Be it in the field of art, architecture, music or sports, the cities correspond to a modern society where the US influence is much-too apparent.

The blissful matrimony of diverse cultures in Panama brings dance and music into play. Thus, the traditional dance Tamborito introduced by the Spanish invaders borrows steps and rhythms from native dance forms. The influence of Afro-Caribbean music and that of other popular local music like salsas cannot be missed. Though Spanish is the preferred language for compositions, the themes, plots and even characters have their roots steeped in the colorful Panamanian culture.

The many festivities held year-round in Panama like the Carnaval or carnival, Festival of the Black Christ, Fair of Azuero, Semana Santa (or Easter Week), too uphold the land’s cultural diversity. Most of the festivals are excellent blending of Pagan and Catholic beliefs and rituals. The religion of Panama plays a prominent role in Panamanian culture as well.

On the other hand, the Panama countryside with its cattle ranches and horses and Spanish folk songs, continues to be the stronghold of Hispanic culture. The native people of Panama restricted in the small land pockets here and there also continue to contribute immensely to Panamanian culture. Consequently, the netted bags and beaded necklaces made by the Guaymí people and the brightly embroidered textiles called Molas (made by Kuna women) have brought Panama’s artwork and handicrafts worldwide recognition. The epic poems (extending to some hundreds or thousands of lines) of the Kuna people focus another aspect of the Panamanian culture.

There remains no question unanswered as to the depth of diversity in Panamanian culture. Paying visits to the museums will certainly emphasis this fact. Make sure that you go places of historical significance in Panama and mingle with the people of Panama to get the taste of the rich and vibrant Panamanian culture.

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